With the closing of the Nelson Era, it might be a good time for us to break out ye olde crystal ball and make a guess at the size of the polling bounce Truffles can expect to deliver for the Coalition. If we have a quick squiz at how much of a polling bounce previous Opposition leaders enjoyed, it might give us something of a baseline to work from.

To keep this an apples with apples comparison, we’ll only be looking at those Opposition leaders that came into the job at a time other than immediately after an election.

That gives us Peacock, Downer and Howard from the Libs balancing out Latham, Beazley MkII and Rudd from Labor. Here we’ll be using Newspoll data except for those times where the Newspoll two party preferred vote wasn’t available – for those periods we’ll be using Pollytics own TPP estimates based on Newspoll primaries (and for those that don’t know, you can see the entire set of those estimates in a zoomy little interactive widget by clicking “The Long View” link on the right sidebar).

The coloured vertical line in the charts below show just when the given Opposition leader took over their party.

Opposition Leadership Effects – Coalition

Opposition Leadership Effects – ALP

Just a word of warning – some of those old Newspoll and TPP estimates were pretty volatile when compared to polling results today, so it might be something worth keeping in mind. So saying, the average Coalition bounce from a leadership change was 5.7% on the primary and 6% on the TPP. This compares to Labor’s average leadership change bounce of 3.6% on the primary and 1.7% on the TPP. The total average leadership change bounce was 4.6% on the primary and 3.8% on the TPP across the 6 historical examples we have available.

Turnbull ought to get a bounce in the polling – not only because Nelson was eating into the Coalition base vote, but every mid term opposition leadership change except Beazley MkII has gained a bounce. Beazley MkII it might be said, gained the leadership only months into Howard’s last term of government (the end of January 2005) and only barely qualified for this list.

So let’s test the collective wisdom of the Crikey pollyblogs audience – in the sidebar is a poll asking what size bounce you expect Turnbull to deliver this coming Newspoll. Pollbludger is running the very same poll where the collective responses from each site produce those results you see after you make your guess .

This will be turning into a regular feature for Newspoll, so we’ll be able to see if we’re all as smart as we think we are 🙂


The big green bald guy (Jonathan Green otherwise known as My Boss) had a particularly acute bout of philanthropy and has offered up a free Crikey subscription for the winner.

The rules of the game are simple – to qualify for the prize you must enter your predictions for this coming Newspoll on:

1. The Two Party Preferred Vote of the ALP and Coalition

2.The Coalition Primary Vote

3.The ALP Primary Vote

4.The Preferred PM score of Truffles Turnbull

5.The Preferred PM score of Rudd

6.The Preferred Prime Minister Undecideds number.

People will be eliminated on the basis of 1 through 6 in order, so if you get the TPP right you move on to the Coalition primary vote. If you get that right you move on to the ALP primary vote and so on. Last person standing wins the subscription, or if the last few people all get eliminated, it will be the person that get’s closest to that last final polling result.

If we still have a tie after that, the tied folk will do it again next Newspoll to decide the winner

The other qualification is that you must write at least one sentence on why you think the scores will be as you predicted.

One entry per person.

Let the games begin!

Elsewhere: Larvatus Prodeo on the B… b… bounce? where you can play “impersonate your favourite press gallery journo”.


To keep it fair, polls will start to leak soon so comments closed.

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